Live TV Musical Trend Continues

Love them or hate them, live theater productions are still trending.  Ever since the surprising ratings success of The Sound of Music, starring Carrie Underwood in the role that Julie Andrews made famous on the big screen, NBC has tried to capture lightning in a bottle multiple times, with Peter Pan, The Wiz (the best of the bunch), and Hairspray.

FOX followed in NBC's footsteps with its own live musical remake on television, Grease, and a non-live version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (It also aired the interesting but inconsistent The Passion, a retelling of the Easter story with contemporary pop music songs.)

ABC tested the waters with a non-live musical remake of Dirty Dancing (which was critically lambasted).

The broadcast TV networks aren't stopping -- CBS is the only one that so far doesn't have a live musical production in its upcoming schedule. Here are the live TV musicals coming up.

FOX is bringing us Rent, which hopefully will be better than the movie version, since it's one of the best modern musicals out there. It will also produce the musical version of the holiday classic A Christmas Story.

ABC is jumping into the live musical game with The Little Mermaid as part of The Wonderful World of Disney. It will allegedly mix live performances with scenes from the animated film. Disney already has a string of Broadway adaptation successes, so if this works, we can expect to see more.

Finally the network that started it all, NBC, will try its hand at Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, one of my favorites, but a tricky one to master. Targeted for Easter, we'll see if they allow for some bold creative choices.

If you enjoy these types of shows, your viewing bounty looks full. If they're done right, they'll be reaching a huge audience and can broaden the reach of the genre. If done wrong, maybe the trend will finally fizzle and fade away.